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First off today, defendants of the U.S. Copyright Group, which has filed massive copyright lawsuits on behalf of independent film makers, is being counter-sued by at least some of its defendants. The suit, which is seeking class action status, accuses the firm of threatening defendants with statutory damages even when such damages were not available due to the lack of timely copyright registration. Though the lawsuit isn’t seen as having much of a chance of moving forward, it is definitely a thorn in the group’s side.
Next up today, in other U.S. Copyright Group News, the group is also filing suit against Graham Syfert, an attorney who was selling “kits” to help those sued by the U.S. Copyright Group fight back by including templates for various motions and pleadings that defendants could file themselves in a bid to slow down or hinder the group’s settlement process. The U.S. Copyright Group sued Syfert and is seeking sanctions against him, saying that the 19 cases that the kit has been used against them have cost them some $5,000 in attorney time. Syfert, however, wonders if 19 cases can case that much headache, how much would it take to bring down the entire business model?
Finally today, the Supreme Court, despite showing some interest in the case, will not hear the appeal of Whitney Harper, former cheerleader who was sued for copyright infringement by the RIAA for sharing files over Limewire. Harper was found in the lower court to be an innocent infringer and was given the minimum statutory damages, $200 per song, however, the Appeals Court ruled that to not be relevant as the CDs had proper copyright notices, even if Harper never saw a physical CD during her file sharing. This means that Harper is left with the Appeals Court decision, which orders her to pay some $27,750 for the songs she was sharing.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.
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